The Contradictions at the Heart of Iraqi Society

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi delivers a speech during the vote on the new government at the parliament headquarters in Baghdad, May 7, 2020. (Iraqi Parliament Media Office/Handout via Reuters)
Why Iraqis sometimes say one thing but do another

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I n 1951, a young Iraqi scholar named Ali al-Wardi published The Personality of the Iraqi Individual (shakhsiyat al-fard al-iraqi). This work of social psychology is still readily available at the bookshops of Iraq, and widely recommended by Iraqis when I have asked for book suggestions. When he wrote the book, al-Wardi had just completed his Ph.D. at the University of Texas in sociology, and was starting what would be a long career at the University of Baghdad. In the book, al-Wardi sought to analyze the cultural traits that make Iraqis distinct and to address some of the key defects he

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